In today’s Friday Fast Break, we take a look at a pair of volleyball teams that are expected to compete for not only a conference championship but will compete to make a deep run in the state tournament.

Lutheran St. Charles will look to continue their winning ways with a pair of outstanding players returning to lead the Cougars this season. The Cougars also have a great mix of returning players and newcomers that will help in getting Lutheran St. Charles back to the state tournament.

First-year head coach Chris Geisz will lead Ladue this season as he is looking for a solid group of returning players to aid the Rams in returning the program back to prominence this season. The Rams have had an impressive summer and will continue their work as fall practices begin in hope of winning a conference title.

Lutheran St. Charles Cougars

  • Head Coach – Rachel Versemann
  • Record at school – 79-28-7 in four years
  • Conference – AAA Conference
  • 2021 record – 21-11-2
  • 2021 Season Highlights: The Cougars won the district and advanced to the Missouri High School Activities Association Class 4 quarterfinals before falling to Westminster 3-1.
  • Starters Returning: Mattie Reynolds, Katelyn Diani-O’Day, Kaitlyn Clark, Sarah Sanderson, Brooke Kiel, Maya Griggs
  • Returning players: Mattie Reynolds—outside hitter and All-State player last year. Katelyn Diani-O’Day—setter and Newcomer of the Year last year for AAA conference.
  • Reynolds returns after leading the Cougars with 348 kills last season while adding 210 digs. Diani-O’Day had a team-high 776 assists last season from her setting position.
  • Players to Watch: Sarah Sanderson—libero, Brooke Kiel—middle, and Kennedy Brown—outside hitter.

Season Outlook: “Our team is excited to start this season,” stated Versemann. “Our schedule is filled with top competition from around the metro area. We will be playing hard to win our conference with rivals St. Dominic and St. Francis Borgia as the top teams to beat. With Katelyn setting, Mattie on the outside, and Brooke in the middle we will put up a strong attack. We are looking forward to defending our District Title and moving past the quarterfinals this year. We will be looking to go deep into the post-season this year and make a run for the state title.”

Key Games:

  • Thursday, September 8 at Borgia
  • Monday, October 6 vs Orchard Farm
  • Friday-Saturday, October 15-15 at Ozark Grand Slam Tournament

Ladue Rams

  • Head Coach – Chris Geisz
  • Record at school – 0-0 in his first year
  • Conference – Suburban Red
  • 2021 record – 8-18-5
  • Starters Returning: Maddie Gladson, Kate Sewing, Jessie Stefek, Claire Kienstra, Emily Shaw
  • Returning players: Maddie Gladson, Kate Sewing, Jessie Stefek, Claire Kienstra, Emily Shaw
  • Gladson paced the Rams last year in kills with 177 while adding 35 blocks. Stefek added 363 digs last season and had 93 kills.
  • Players to Watch: Same as starters returning, but we have a variety of players who could be eye-catching including junior Armory Nichols

Season Outlook: “We are looking to rejuvenate a well-respected program,” stated Geisz. “We have some depth and players who can play multiple positions which makes us a dangerous team. If we can continue to develop our fundamentals and maintain consistency, we could surprise some people this year.”

Key Games:

  • Saturday, August 27 at Visitation Tournament
  • Monday, September 12 vs MICDS
  • Monday, October 3 vs Westminster
Jim Powers
Jim Powers

Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at japowers2421@yahoo.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan